The Barter Players have been acclaimed worldwide as one of the finest theatre troupes for young people anywhere. And now, Lynchburg youth have a chance to see them in action for the first time. This March, they are taking the stage at The Academy Center of the arts to perform the Charles Dickens classic Great Expectations.
Great Expectations follows the story of Pip, an orphan living on the Kent marshes. Pip lives with his abusive sister and her husband, Joe Gargery, the village blacksmith. While exploring in the churchyard near the tombstones of his parents, Pip is confronted by an escaped convict. After this encounter, Pip begins a journey that takes him from his impoverished village upbringing to a new life as a London gentleman. Along the way, he meets the eccentric Miss Havisham and her ward, the beautiful, haughty Estella. The two fall in love. Determined to prove he is worthy of her, Pip strives to meet his great expectations. However, he experiences a downfall that teaches him the truth about himself and life.
Barter Theater History
The Barter Theater, a historic theater in Abingdon, VA was started in 1933 with the price of admission set at 40 cents or equivalent amount of produce. Four out of five Depression-era theatregoers paid their way with vegetables, dairy products and livestock, giving the theater it’s name. Currently, the theater continues to produce shows at their home location, but also takes the Barter Players on tours to various schools and theaters to perform world-class shows for America’s youth.
A Family Event
The Academy encourages children of all ages to attend this vibrant storytelling experience. The show is approximately 75 minutes long with no intermission, and promises to be a high energy, interactive performance.
For parents and educators interested in exploring the play in greater detail, a study guide is available to download. This guide covers:
- The Virginia Theater and English Standards of Learning that the play encompasses
- A synopsis of the play
- A short biography of Charles Dickens
- Vocabulary words mentioned throughout the story
- Discussion questions to encourage comprehension and retention
- Short essay ideas
- Other exciting activities to engage young children
Show Times and Information
Showtimes are Saturday, March 11 at 7:30 P.M. and Sunday, March 12 at 2:00 P.M. The show will take place in the Academy’s Warehouse theater. This can be accessed in from the entrance found between 5th and 6th and Commerce Street. Patrons are encouraged to park in the Pacific Life lot, which is located next door to the theater. There will be directional signage pointing the way on show days, but look for the large yellow mural depicting a woman and a keyboard. Parking in this lot is free.
We look forward to seeing you at the show!